Category Archives: Special Operations

Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion

3rd Recon: Like No Other


Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, talk about why they chose to become Reconnaissance Marines and their experiences they’ve had with jumping out of aircrafts with the Utility Tactical Vehicle during Integrated Training Exercise 1-19 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, Nov. 15, 2018. The 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion (3rd Recon) conducts amphibious and ground reconnaissance in support of the 3rd Marine Division and Marine Forces Pacific (MarForPac), operating in the commander’s areas of influence. The Battalion is based out of Camp Schwab, a satellite base of Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler. It is geographically located on the Okinawa Prefecture in Japan.

The United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalions (or commonly called Marine Division Recon) are the Special Operations Capable reconnaissance assets of Marine Air-Ground Task Force that provide division-level ground and amphibious reconnaissance to the Ground Combat Element within the United States Marine Corps. Division reconnaissance teams are employed to observe and report on enemy activity and other information of military significance in close operations. The Military Occupational Specialty code for Reconnaissance Man is 0321.

3rd Reconnaissance Battalion

3rd Reconnaissance Battalion


Reconnaissance forces are a valuable asset to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force when the MEF Commander is faced with uncertainty in the battlefield. Reconnaissance provides timely intelligence to command and control for battlespace shaping, allowing the MAGTF to act, and react, to changes in the battlefield. While Marine reconnaissance assets may operate in specialized missions, they are unlike the unconventional SOCOM’s forces counterparts. Both division and force are solely reserved for supporting the infantry, which are directly involved in the commander’s force of action in the battlefield, or battlespace shaping.

Many of the types of reconnaissance missions that are conducted by Marine Recon units are characterized by its degree in depth of penetration. This greatly increases the mission time, risk, and support coordination needs. Division reconnaissance are in charge of the commander’s Area of Influence, the close and distant battlespace; the force reconnaissance platoons are employed farther in the deep battlespace, or the Area of Interest.
(U.S. Marine Corps video by Lance Cpl. William Chockey, Cinematography by Sgt. Joshua Chacon and Cpl. Jennessa Davey)

3rd Reconnaissance Battalion

3rd Reconnaissance Battalion

Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Graduate 100th Class

Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Graduate 100th Class


Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman graduate their 100th class and remember their roots. The Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) is a United States Naval Special Warfare Command team that operates and maintains an inventory of small craft used to conduct special operations missions, particularly those of the U.S. Navy SEALs. Individually, SEALs and SWCC go through separate specialized training programs that emphasize special operations in the maritime environment.

Naval Special Warfare Basic Training Command graduated its 100th class of specially-trained small boat operators at a ceremony at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. Each SWCC graduate completed 27 weeks of training, including running a total of 157 miles, swimming 44 miles and completing the obstacle course at least 14 times. The total ammunition expended by the class exceeded 37,000 rounds of small arms ammo and 135,000 rounds of heavy weapons ammo. They navigated 750 nautical miles over 200 hours. The roughly 800-member SWCC community is smaller still, at .25 percent of the force.

Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Graduate 100th Class

Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Graduate 100th Class


SWCC specialize in swift mobility, due to this they also have a high level of training in tactical driving and convoy operations. They do many missions alongside SEALs providing security detail and evacuation. SWCC must be physically fit, highly motivated, combat-focused, and responsive in high-stress situations. To become a special warfare combatant-craft crewman, a service member must apply and be accepted to special programs, pass SWCC basic crewman training school, and pass other schools. Following this, they undergo crewman qualification training concurrently with a probationary period.

Special boat teams can trace their history back to World War II. Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three rescued General Douglas MacArthur (and later the Filipino president Manuel L. Quezon) from the Philippines after the Japanese invasion and then participated in guerilla actions until American resistance ended with the fall of Corregidor. The development of a robust riverine warfare capability during the Vietnam War produced the forerunner of the modern special warfare combatant-craft crewman. In 1966 River Patrol Force (Task Force 116) operated River Patrol Boats (PBR) conducting counterinsurgency operations in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.

Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Graduate 100th Class

Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Graduate 100th Class

Flyer 72 Lightweight Tactical Vehicles Family

Flyer 72 Lightweight Tactical Vehicles Family


The Flyer 72 is a non-developmental item, purpose-built, lightweight vehicle designed to meet complex mission sets. Selected by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) as the vehicle of choice for their Ground Mobility 1.1 (GMV 1.1) program, at 72” wide it is capable of internal transport in the CH47 and C-130 aircraft. The Flyer 72’s modular approach provides the warfighter with a rapid mission reconfiguration capability. The Flyer 72 can quickly be configured and reconfigured to perform multiple missions such as light strike assault, rescue and evacuation, command and control, and reconnaissance.

Flyer 72 Lightweight Tactical Vehicles Family

Flyer 72 Lightweight Tactical Vehicles Family


The Flyer 72 is a mature, highly mobile platform, with a payload capacity over 5,500 pounds and can be configured to multiple crew sizes (up to nine). It is capable of being guns up in under a minute after exiting the aircraft, and can carry a variety of armaments. Its adaptable communications suite provides increased operating range and the provides the operator real-time access to critical information.
As a reliable and high performance vehicle, the Flyer® 72 offers safe and fast operating speeds with superior levels of mobility and maneuverability. It’s highly adaptable to severe, rugged and restrictive terrains while providing off-road, cross-country mobility in all types of weather conditions.
Flyer 72 Lightweight Tactical Vehicles Family

Flyer 72 Lightweight Tactical Vehicles Family


The Flyer 72’s modular approach provides the warfighter with a rapid mission reconfiguration capability. The Flyer 72 can quickly be configured and reconfigured to perform multiple missions such as light strike assault, rescue and evacuation, command and control, and reconnaissance.

  • Flexible crew seating, easily reconfigured from 3 to 9 operators
  • High component commonality between all vehicle configurations
  • Common tubular space frame chassis
  • Common 2.0L GM DOHC BiTurbocharged JP8 engine
  • Common 5-point seat restraints
  • Common Rollover Protection System built to withstand vehicle weight

Flyer 72 Lightweight Tactical Vehicles Family

Flyer 72 Lightweight Tactical Vehicles Family


The Flyer Advanced Light Strike Vehicle platform has been developed by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS), in partnership with Flyer Defense LLC, for the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Ground Mobility Vehicle Program. The Flyer Advanced Light Strike Vehicle platform configurations are the Flyer 72 and the narrower Flyer 60. The Flyer was designed to fill a need by special operations forces to have a lightweight, mobile platform that could be transported by air and be configured for a variety of missions. It can be internally transported by V-22 Osprey, CH-53E Super Stallion, CH-47D Chinook, C-130 Hercules, and C-5 Galaxy, and be externally transported by UH-60L Black Hawk.
Flyer 72 Lightweight Tactical Vehicles Family

Flyer 72 Lightweight Tactical Vehicles Family


Netherlands Marine Corps DMV Anaconda 4×4

Netherlands Marine Corps DMV Anaconda 4×4


The Korps Mariniers (Netherlands Marine Corps) will receive a first DMV (Dutch Military Vehicle) Anaconda 4×4 tactical military vehicles in 2019. The first 36 DMV Anaconda tactical military vehicles developed by the Deba Bedrijfswagens B.V. will be formally transferred to Korps Mariniers on 31 January 2019. Two months later, another 10 will follow. The new Anaconda Vehicle is for the 32nd Raiding Squadron (Dutch Caribbean Forces). The 32nd Raiding Squadron is stationed in Aruba and is responsible for the defence of the Netherlands Antilles.

Netherlands Marine Corps DMV Anaconda 4×4

Netherlands Marine Corps DMV Anaconda 4×4


The DMV (Dutch Military Vehicle) Anaconda is a 4×4 light utility vehicle in the seven-tonne class. This vehicle is based on an Italian Iveco chassis. The front protected power pack consists of an Iveco diesel generating 180 kW ( 430 Nm), coupled to an automatic transmission with one reverse and five forward gears. This gives a maximum road speed of 110 km/h and a maximum range of 1,000 km. DEBA Bedrijfswagens is already for more than 30 years a reputable truck and van workshop andsalespoint. The Deba Bedrijfswagens is the official main dealer for the brands IVECO and FIAT.
Netherlands Marine Corps DMV Anaconda 4×4

Netherlands Marine Corps DMV Anaconda 4×4


The Korps Mariniers is the elite amphibious infantry component of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The Korps Mariniers are a rapid reaction force that can be deployed to any location in the world within 48 hours. Since 1972, units of the Netherlands Marine Corps have formed part of the British 3 Commando Brigade during exercises and real conflict situations. Also Mountain Warfare /Force Reconnaissance Troop of C Squadron NLMARSOF will be placed under UK operational command as part of C Squadron, UK Special Boat Service. Together, these form the UK/NL AF. Either the First or the Second Marine Combat Group can be assigned as the Dutch contribution to this force. UK/NL AF contributes to the European Multinational Maritime Force (EMMF).
Netherlands Marine Corps DMV Anaconda 4×4

Netherlands Marine Corps DMV Anaconda 4×4

Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima

Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima


Australian Army soldiers conducted urban operations training alongside soldiers from Singapore, Malaysia, United Kingdom and New Zealand on Exercise Bersama Lima 2018. The soldiers formed part of the land warfare component of Bersama Lima 2018 which contributed to the Five Power Defence Arrangements combined joint exercise. Bersama Lima 2018 was staged in Malaysia and Singapore from 1 – 19 October 2018 and included air, land and maritime training activities which aimed at enhancing interoperability of member nations.

Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima

Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima


The multilateral exercise directly contributes to the security and stability of the region and included approximately 800 ADF personnel from Navy, Army and Air Force. The Australian Army soldiers were from Charlie Company, 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, located in Brisbane, Queensland, who are the current Rifle Company Butterworth rotation 123, based at Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth in Penang, Malaysia.
Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima

Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima

Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS

Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS


In May 2015, the Pentagon initiated a secret program dubbed Combat Dragon II. $20 million was allocated to activate an experimental unit of two OV-10s, acquired from NASA and the State Department. Its purpose: to test the viability of the low-cost, Vietnam-era OV-10 Bronco in combat scenarios against ISIS. The primary weapon during the aircraft’s deployment to Iraq was 7- and 19-tube rocket pods loaded with the highly accurate laser-guided 70mm Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II rocket, or APKWS II. Two OV-10Gs were assigned for light attack operations in Iraq under the “Combat Dragon II” program and completed 120 missions.

Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS

Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS


The OV-10 Bronco is the Swiss Army Knife of military aviation, faster than a helicopter, more maneuverable than a jet, and able to provide optimal support for troops on the ground in the most difficult of environments. The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is an American twin-turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s as a special aircraft for counter-insurgency (COIN) combat, and one of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft. It could carry up to three tons of external munitions, internal loads such as paratroopers or stretchers, and could loiter for three or more hours.
Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS

Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS

NZSAS Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)

New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)


New Zealand Special Air Service (NZSAS) operators are a highly-trained component of New Zealand’s Special Operations Forces, who are ready to deploy at short notice on a variety of operations at the request of Government. The selection process for the NZSAS is rigorous; those selected will be self-starters, able to follow instructions and think for themselves, and it goes without saying that they’ll be able to meet the physical and mental demands of the job. In this video we take a behind-the-scenes look at the training environment, including at the purpose-built Battle Training Facility, where our NZSAS operators train and excel.

New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)

New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)


The New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) new Battle Training Facility (BTF) was officially opened today by the Prime Minister, Rt Honourable John Key at a ceremony in Auckland. The $46 million modern purpose-built facility in Ardmore took two years to build and replaces outdated and obsolete training facilities for Special Air Service (SAS) personnel in Papakura. It includes facilities for all-weather training, live firing, use of helicopters, and scenario training based on specific environments and structures such as, aircraft fuselages, ship’s bridges, and public transport.
New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)

New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)


In the previous facilities SAS personnel could not fire their primary operational weapons, however the new BTF allows for live firing and up to advanced full-mission rehearsals. The BTF will primarily be used by the SAS; however it is an important resource for the whole of NZDF. Security threats have become more complex, so it’s vital the NZDF have modern facilities to train SAS personnel who are required to operate in high risk and complex environments. The BTF will also be used by other government agencies with a security role, including the NZ Police Special Tactics Group. This is a capability that is of significant benefit to the whole of the NZDF and it is futureproofed in its design and built to a world class standard. The Papakura Base will still remain in use by the SAS.
New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)

New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)